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The Chicago Diner

Written by

We f*cking love meat. Steaks. Burgers. Italian Beefs. Bacon. If it was once living and now dead and cooked, we probably want to eat it. And that’s precisely why you should listen to our review of a vegan and vegetarian restaurant.

If a vegan eater tells you to eat vegan, all you hear is “blah blah blah, dooooon’t care.” You don’t want to listen to a vegan tell you why you should eat vegan. So, as meat lovers, we’re telling you The Chicago Diner is worth a try. And if you’re a committed vegan or vegetarian, or have someone important in your life that is, then The Chicago Diner should be your spot.

“Meat Free Since ’83.” That’s the motto at The Chicago Diner, which first opened up in Lakeview, but now has a second location in Logan Square, the subject of this review. They both feel like traditional diners, but the Logan Square spot is newer, cleaner, and a little more aesthetically pleasing.

The menu is large, and full of vegan and vegetarian options ranging from chocolate chip pancakes, to burgers, to gyros made with seasoned seitan, a meat substitute that at times isn’t bad. We swear. The voodoo magic they’re able to do with seitan, tofu, and even a black bean veggie burger is a testament to the dedication of making meat substitutes taste good. The staff is also exactly what you would expect, so they won’t be mistaken for investment bankers. They’re polite, knowledgable about the food, and encourage you to try new things whether you actually have dietary restrictions or are with someone who dragged you along.

We may not be giving up meat any time soon, but we get down with The Chicago Diner.

Food Rundown

Vegan Cinnamon Roll

A vegan cinnamon roll is still a cinnamon roll. It’s good.

Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Vegan chocolate chip pancakes are still chocolate chip pancakes. We’re in on these too.


Waffle fries with Teese® creamy cheddar, gravy, and green onions. Yes, Teese is vegan cheese. It’s...interesting. The fries are excellent, but be careful of too much Teese.

Cajun Black Bean Burger

Every now and then a veggie burger is good for you. This black bean option is a pretty good one, especially when you load it up with sautéed onion, mushroom, spinach, tomato, and fried jalapeño.

Pierogi Quesadilla

Even non vegan/vegetarian restaurants can’t win ’em all. This pierogi quesadilla with sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, onions, mushrooms, and cheddar isn’t doing it for us.

Breakfast Combo

If you’re not a vegan or vegetarian and you really get dragged to going here, then breakfast is the way to go. You can keep things simple with eggs, potatoes, toast, and fruit. If that’s your move, at least be a little adventurous and get the seitan bacon that comes with the combo.


This gyro is legit. The seitan seasoning and texture is close to the real thing, like magic. This is a sandwich we can get behind with onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and vegan tzatziki sauce on pita.

Vegan Milkshake

If you’re here you gotta try one.

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